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Legislation aimed at compelling the state's four major sports universities to improve treatment of their "student athletes" stalled, at least temporarily, in the state Senate Education Committee Wednesday.

While committee members appeared to favor the thrust of the legislation, they wanted to see proposed amendments in print before moving the bill.

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, is carrying Senate Bill 1525, dubbing it the "Student Athlete Bill of Rights," contending that while big sports schools reap tens of millions of dollars in revenue from tickets and broadcast rights, they cast aside athletes if they don't perform as expected or become injured.

As written, SB 1525 would require the University of California, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford University and the University of Southern California to continue athletes' educations if they lose their athletic scholarships and also provide continuing medical care for any sports injuries.

Lobbyists for the UC system and the two private universities opposed the bill. Committee chairman Alan Lowenthal, a Long Beach Democrat, said the bill has "so many unanswered questions" and contains "loose ends" that must be tightened up before the bill can receive approval. But he and other committee members said they support its thrust.


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